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Israel drops leaflets on Hizbollah Beirut bastion
03 Aug 2006 17:34:45 GMT
Source: Reuters

BEIRUT, Aug 3 (Reuters) - An Israeli warplane dropped leaflets on Beirut's Hizbollah-dominated southern suburb on Thursday, urging residents to flee the area because Israel planned to widen its offensive in Beirut.

"To the residents of Haret Hreik, Beer al-Abed, Hay Madi and Rweis, for your own safety you must flee those suburbs immediately," said the Arabic-language leaflets, signed "The State of Israel".

"After the continued launching of Hizbollah terrorist rockets ... the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) intends to widen its offensive in Beirut," it said.

"The wider terrorist operations of Hizbollah will result in a hurtful and brutal response and the results will be decisive, and not just for Hizbollah."

The warning came after the bloodiest day of fighting for Israel. Eight civilians and four soldiers were killed, bringing the total of Israelis killed to 68.

A resident who received the leaflet said the southern suburb was already largely empty as previous Israeli offensives had scared many residents into fleeing to safer areas.

An Israeli spokesman said the army planned in the next few days to clear a 15 km (9 mile)-wide security zone in south Lebanon.
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A distraught woman is comforted outside an apartment minutes after a Hizbollah rocket attack hit the building in Israel's northern city of Kiryat Shmona on the Israel-Lebanon border, August 11, 2006.